• Apple's health wearable takes shapeSOURCE

    August 17, 2016

    Evidence is mounting that Tim Cook and co are looking to life beyond the Watch

    “One day, we would really like to get into the healthcare market.” It’s a comment I’m beginning to hear a lot more from startups I’ve spoken to recently. So when rumours of Apple building a medical grade wearable started to fly about, I wasn’t at all surprised by the speculation. Why? Because healthcare is a lucrative business.

    You just need to look at the numbers that research firms and analysts have been dishing out. A report from Market Data Forecast suggests the medical devices market value will reach $11.2 billion by 2020. Another report fromGrand View Research Inc believes the connected health market and wellness market will reach $612 billion by 2024. You don’t need me to tell you that these are huge numbers.

    “We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration process,” Cook told The Telegraph. “I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long.”

    What it tells us is that medical grade wearable devices have a huge role to play in the future of wearables. Potentially they could reduce the cost of treatments, cut down hospital stays and make it easier for patients to continuously monitor their health without heavily relying on medical staff.

    If the speculation proves accurate, Apple is certainly not alone in casting an eye on the healthcare industry. Fitbit has closely aligned itself with researcherscarrying out clinical trials, Jawbone’s uncertain future could lie with a medical grade device and Philips has recently launched a health suite of connected devices that are more concerned with preventing lifestyle-induced chronic conditions than counting steps.

    While there’s no suggestion that Apple will abandon its more consumer-friendly smartwatch, it’s clearly been laying the foundations for a device that can do so much more. First came Apple Health and HealthKit, a way for wearable owners to store health and fitness data along with a framework for developers to help make better sense of the data. Then came ResearchKit and more recently CareKit in a bid to radically change the way doctors can keep track of patients. Apple has just teamed up with GlaxoSmithKline to create its first ever drug company partnership to make use of ResearchKit for clinical trials.

    Even after the launch of the original Apple Watch, reports suggested that the Cupertino company’s ambitions for health and fitness tracking were big. In May this year, Tim Cook spoke about comparing tracking the body to keeping tabs on a performance car. He even talked about the holy grail of the watch being able to monitor more and more.

    Apple’s wearable could offer EKG heart rate monitoring like the Kardia band

    You can go back to life before the Watch when Apple were reportedly having meetings with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Getting that seal of FDA approval would greatly enhance the credentials of any medical grade device. We’ve already seen glimpses of what could be possible through Apple’s first wearable. The Apple Watch can hook up to a sensor to monitor glucose levels for diabetes sufferers, and a teardown of the Watch revealed a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels hidden underneath that rectangular exterior. There were also apparently plans to include sensors that could gauge stress and blood pressure, but they didn’t work consistently enough. The latestwatchOS 3 update will effectively turn the smartwatch into a smart medical bracelet.

    The patent that’s currently causing a stir is one that hints at a wearable that will include electrocardiogram (EKG) technology, to offer medical grade heart rate monitoring. This is still considered the most accurate way to record heart rate activity and there are very few wearables that currently offer it.

    Life-changing wearables

    • Living life through a smart contact lens
      Living life through a smart contact lens
      Google, Samsung and Sony have set their sights on smartening up the eye
    • Temp tech tattoos will get us to invisibles
      Temp tech tattoos will get us to invisibles
      What’s coming up in stick-on shenanigans
    • Ford wants to unlock wearable health
      Ford wants to unlock wearable health
      We speak to Ford about its wearables lab, augmented reality and more

    What a medical grade device could do for Apple is deliver what it wanted to deliver with the Apple Watch but for whatever technical reasons, couldn’t.

    Do I think Apple will make a health wearable? I think there’s evidence to imply it’s on the cards, but I also think it’s bold to suggest that this is something that is going to happen in the very near future. This is not a tablet or a phone we’re talking here. This is dealing with data on a whole different level and Apple needs to get it right – more so than with any other device it’s ever launched.

    When or if it happens, it could be a watershed moment. When Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch to the world, he called it the next chapter in the Apple story. A medical grade wearable could be the chapter that everyone expects – but that proves to be the single most important one the company has written.


    Shop for recommended smartwatches on Amazon

    Samsung Gear S2

    Samsung Gear S2

    $235.99

    Apple Watch 42mm

    Apple Watch 42mm

    $358

    Sony SmartWatch 3

    Sony SmartWatch 3

    $148.99

    Huawei Watch

    Huawei Watch

    $299

    Wareable may get a commission

     
     

    No comments

    Be the first one to leave a comment.

    Post a Comment


     

     

    Latest Posts

    Latest Video

     
     

    LATEST POSTS

    Engineers Have Created Biocompatible Microrobots That Can be Implanted Into the Human Body

    SOURCE  Sam Sia, a Biomedical Engineering Professor at Columbia Engineering recently led a team that used biomaterials that can safely…

    First FDA Approval For Clinical Cloud-Based Deep Learning In Healthcare

     SOURCE: FORBES The first FDA approval for a machine learning application to be used in a clinical setting is a…

    FDA-approved study uses adipose stem cells for treatment of shoulder injuries

    SOURCE Sanford Health is conducting the first clinical trial approved by the FDA to treat injured shoulders using patients’ adipose…

    Could Anatomics BioModel Stereotaxy replace navigation or a robot?

    SOURCE Paul S D’Urso Neurosurgeon & Founder of Anatomics Because 3D printing is so accurate I was able to locate…

    $250 million awarded to new Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation Hub

    SOURCE Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, the new institute is made up of governments, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations from across the country….

    Self-assembling 3D printing inks produce more true-to-life tissue

    SOURCE Biological and chemical researchers are developing 3D printable inks capable of self-assembly, i.e. forming a shape based on a…

    Urine Exosomes – An Emerging Trove of Biomarkers

     SOURCE Exosomes are released by most cells and can be isolated from all biofluids including urine. Exosomes are small vesicles…

    What is machine learning?

    SOURCE In this fascinating animation from Oxford Sparks, we take a look at how statistics and computer science can be used to…